The National Hockey League regular season is over so for 14 teams their attention turns to the 2017 entry draft. Yesterday, the Central Scouting Service has released its final draft rankings for the upcoming NHL Draft.
Even though it was another rebuilding year, not as much as last year however, scouts for pro teams were impressed with players on a young Halifax Mooseheads team. Leading off the rankings for boys on the Herd is rookie Nico Hischier who has risen up the draft rankings throughout the season and is projected to go second overall in June. After a very strong first year in Halifax where the 18 year old won rookie of the year, offensive rookie of the year, top professional prospect, and was also named to the rookie all star team. He had 86 points (38G & 48A) in 57 games played.
The next ranked Moose player is sophomore defenseman Jocktan Chainey at #126. With his solid defensive play, even though he was out with injury to start the season, Chainey had 24 points on the season with 4 goals and 20 assists.
Previously not ranked on the mid-term rankings by the CSS, second year forward Arnaud Durandeau was ranked #177 in Tuesday’s list. The Beaconsfield, Quebec native had 41 points on the season scoring 15 goals, a jump from his rookie season total.
Ranked at 181 is Max Fortier who is going into his second draft. This season he led the team in scoring with 87 points, recording 32 goals and assisting on 55 others. He became one of the leaders on the team with a lot of the younger players. Many fans and media personnel who follow the Mooseheads are curious to see if the fourth year right winger will get drafted this time around after dazzling Moose Country all year long.
Finally, at #193 is defenseman Walter Flower. Despite missing some time in his second season with injuries, the Lunenburg, NS native showed that he has solid defensive play. Flower picked up 10 points in 47 games but was more involved in the physical side of the game this season as well.
Despite being injured for most of 2016-17, Brandon Wheat Kings forward Nolan Patrick is ranked number one on the list. Patrick has played two seasons in the WHL, so that has given scouts lots of opportunity to look at him prior to his draft year.
There are 29 QMJHL hopefuls that want to hear their names on draft day. The draft is being held in Chicago at the United Center on June 23 and 24, 2017.